Con: the hybrid model creates many challenges

Orange County remains in the purple tier as of Monday, Nov. 30. In response, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued new COVID-19 guidelines: prohibiting indoor dining in restaurants, a curfew, and an overnight stay at home order.  

Students chose one of three models, hybrid, blended or Irvine Virtual Academy, before the start of the school year and will be given the opportunity to choose again at the end of the semester. The hybrid model consists of students attending school twice a week in either the blue or green cohort, minimizing the number of people on campus and offering the safest instruction possible. However, because of the challenges for students and teachers alike, the hybrid model has proven inefficient in maximizing learning. 

The lack of student connection in the classroom, which is essential to a student’s growth,  is evident in the hybrid model. According to a Washington Post article, education writer Valerie Strauss argues socio-emotional learning needs are crucial skills developed through collaboration. However, because the hybrid model groups students into two cohorts, with less students in a class and social distancing, students are unable to collaborate properly and their socio-emotional learning needs are not met. With this disconnect, what are the academic advantages of this model?

Logistical flaws in the hybrid model obstruct learning; not only are students losing in-person instruction time, but lack of Internet accessibility continues to hinder learning. According to the Atlantic, in the COVID-19 era, many teachers are fighting to ensure all their students can log into class each day. Their struggles are just one example of the consequences of America’s failure to get all its citizens online before this uniquely internet-dependent time. This lack of adequate access is reflected in Irvine High School, as many students struggle with unstable internet connection and numerous school-wide technical issues. The model does not take into consideration this common issue within our district, thus, proving inefficient.

The hybrid schedule was created in order for students to have a sense of normalcy. However, there are limited opportunities for students to receive face-to-face time with their teachers. This deteriorates the sense of routine and stability that many students want, and ultimately, anticipated normalcy is not being achieved. Therefore, is the hybrid schedule really worth all of the difficulty that students and teachers go through?

Given the current situation of increasing COVID-19 cases, it is fair to assume that this model will stay for a prolonged period of time. However, because this model is creating added barriers for students and teachers, it should be revised. 

Is the Hybrid model effective?
52 votes